by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 - 1926)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

Es treibt der Wind im Winterwalde
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG ENG
Es treibt der Wind im Winterwalde
die Flockenherde wie ein Hirt
und manche Tanne ahnt, wie balde
sie fromm und lichterheilig wird,
und lauscht hinaus. Den weißen Wegen
streckt sie die Zweige hin, bereit
und wehrt dem Wind und wächst engegen
der einen Nacht der Herrlichkeit.

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Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , "Advent", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Walter A. Aue) , "Advent", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2007-02-25
Line count: 8
Word count: 46

Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
In wintry woods the wind is driving
the flock of snowflakes, shepherd-like,
and many a fir-tree feels how soon then
by lights it will be sanctified,
and listens well. To the white pathways
it stretches out its branches wide
to brave the wind and grow - to live for
that single blissful holy night.


  • Singable translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2010 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT)

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Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2010-12-05
Line count: 8
Word count: 54